Luminous reflections

Liquid shadows

Who says shadows need to be hum-drum. Or even dark, for that matter. I discovered these reflections in an old building, where glass tiles threw a shifting pattern of light reflections on a dark brick wall. Their shimmering pattern of light delighted me!

When we get locked into looking at an object in one way, for example, grass is green or the sun is yellow, we really don’t see what is in front of us, all the time.

If at a child’s birth, a mother could ask a fairy godmother
to endow it with the most useful gift,
that gift would be curiosity.

~Eleanor Roosevelt~

In the midst of winter

aspen grove in summer

One of the true joys of photography is that it refreshes the mind’s eye with things half-remembered, yet totally true.

This picture of an aspen grove was taken one hot summer morning. The hiker and her dog ahead of me are enjoying the beautiful summer weather with me, a light breeze blowing, the heat on our shoulders. It reminds me that although winter is with us, it won’t last forever.

It seems to me that our minds travel in a straight-line projection of the future most of the time. If things are good, they’ll be that way forever, our imagination insists. Or worse, if they are BAD, they will only get worse. That’s the way it always happens.

Or does it?

In addition to a “Gratitude Journal” I sometimes keep an anxiety list to review from time to time. What I have discovered is that the things I worry about most rarely come to pass.

What a waste of good brain cells, to worry so!

Things are getting faster and faster
and stranger and stranger
and it’s almost comforting to think that
some sort of crystal moment will arrive
and a new order will snap out
and suddenly
everything will be different.

~William Gibson, science fiction author~

 

Halt, stop, cease and desist

fire hydrant traffic cop

I stopped to take a picture of this old fire hydrant because I was fascinated by the number of coats of paint covering it. I can see red, yellow, black and blue at least, maybe more. The hydrant’s been there a long time and I wonder if it’s ever been put to the test with a real fire.

Then I looked closer. It almost appears to be a traffic cop, holding those three pumpkins at bay.

And then look even closer. See the blue bottle cap? Always some smart aleck ready to challenge authority!

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
~Albert Camus~

The delight of winter water

Clear Creek at Flood Stage

Imagine standing by this water on a crisp winter day as the rush of cold breeze caresses your face.

This is the Verde Valley’s Clear Creek at flood stage. In a normal flow, water is half this volume, but the creek bed anticipates change. Over the millennia the water has hollowed out a wide swath of normally dry land, preparing for potential that only happens once or twice a season. The trees standing in water are patient, knowing the snow melt from the San Francisco Peaks will eventually pass.

For the desert, this ebb and flow of the water passage is as inevitable as breath itself.

We, too, breathe in and out, allowing room for the intake gasp of surprise and that deep outward sigh of satisfaction.

Snow, snow over the whole land
across all boundaries.

The candle burned on the table,
the candle burned.

~Boris Pasternak~

The texture of potential

Colored pencils in a cup

This picture is on my computer screen saver right now. It’s not an extraordinary photograph but it contains everything I like: a coaster for my coffee, a cup with cats on it, light for reading, and an image-within-an-image of sunshine.

When I view it, I enjoy its textures: the roughness of the sandstone block, the glossiness of the ceramic, the coolness of the stone lamp base, the deep smooth of the leather insert.

I taste the coffee on my tongue and relish the potential of the pen collection. What can I make today?

When we pay attention, pleasures do not need to be dramatic. Sometimes the commonplace suits, just fine!

I am neither an optimist nor pessimist,
but a possibilist.

~Max Lerner~

The reality of art

Reality imitating art

The Phoenix Art Museum has a wonderful wing devoted to installation art, modern art, post-modern art. Imagine my surprise when I viewed this picture, looked for the artist’s name, and discovered it wasn’t “art” at all, but rather a shadowed window into the museum loggia. Great fun!

 There’s a saying among prospectors. Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll find.
~Robert Flaherty, explorer~